The answer is no! Ibuprofen, used in many pain and fever medicines in humans, is dangerous for dogs. We tell you why.
Ibuprofen: a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug toxic to dogs
In human medicine, ibuprofen is an active ingredient found in more than eighty medicinal products, notably marketed under the trademarks Nurofen®, Advil® or Nureflex® (among others). They are found in the form of tablets containing 200 to 400 mg of the active principle. These drugs are available without a prescription and commonly taken as self-medication to relieve pain and fever.
Sometimes ibuprofen is combined in medicines with other active ingredients such as pseudoephedrine, used to relieve cold symptoms, in commercial brands such as Rhinadvil® or Rhinureflex® or codeine for more pain relief. Intense.
In veterinary medicine, no ibuprofen-based drug is listed in Med’Vet, the database which collects all the specialities for veterinary use available in France. And for a good reason! Ibuprofen is highly toxic to dogs!
Ibuprofen belongs to the family of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Its mode of action in the body is based on the inhibition of the synthesis of enzymes called cyclo-oxygenases (COX) involved in the release of prostaglandins, substances involved in inflammatory reactions and the onset of fever. . By preventing their escape, ibuprofen, therefore, reduces fever, the body’s inflammatory response and the pain associated with it. It is this mode of action that explains its analgesic and antipyretic efficacy.
The problem is that prostaglandins are involved in many other bodily functions, such as mucus production, which forms a protective layer of the inner lining of the stomach and intestines, the blood clotting mechanism, and even more renal perfusion. By preventing the release of prostaglandins, ibuprofen also prevents these functions from working correctly. We then see the appearance of undesirable side effects, which can even, depending on the dose ingested, become symptoms of actual ibuprofen poisoning in dogs.
Symptoms of Ibuprofen Poisoning in Dogs
The first signs of poisoning in dogs usually appear within 2 hours of ingesting the medicine. They are most often digestive. By inhibiting the production of prostaglandins, ibuprofen decreases the production of protective mucus in the stomach and increases the production of stomach acid. This results in irritation of the stomach and intestines, which can be manifested by:
loss of appetite
signs of abdominal pain,
vomiting, which may be persistent and contain blood
diarrhoea with possible blood in the stool.
Depending on the dog’s sensitivity to the poison or the severity of the poisoning, irritation of the gastric mucosa can cause lesions such as gastric ulcers.
Suppose the ingested dose is large or an administration of ibuprofen is repeated over several days. In that case, the dog may then develop neurological signs of intoxication (convulsions, coordination disorders, prostration, etc.) and acute renal failure ( animal no longer urinates at all or almost no longer).
The toxic dose of ibuprofen for dogs
According to the Toxivet website, the digestive toxicity of ibuprofen in dogs starts at 100 mg/kg body weight, although gastrointestinal effects can already be observed at lower doses.
The effects of ibuprofen on renal function are noted from 250 mg/kg of body weight, and above 300 mg/kg, the vital prognosis of the poisoned animal is reserved.
My dog has swallowed ibuprofen: what to do?
If you have given your dog ibuprofen or accidentally swallowed it, the only thing you can do is call your veterinarian immediately.
Although there is no antidote for ibuprofen poisoning, only your veterinarian will be able to set up a suitable treatment for:
help to eliminate the poison from the body, using emetic drugs or charcoal,
relieve your dog’s digestive symptoms with the help of protective medicines for the stomach (anti-acids, proton pump inhibitors, digestive dressings, etc.)
minimize the risk of kidney failure.
The seriousness of the poisoning can sometimes justify the hospitalization of the animal.
The veterinarian may also perform tests to assess damage to the digestive tract within days of ingesting ibuprofen.
How can I relieve my dog’s pain without ibuprofen?
Again, if your pet is in pain anywhere, the only thing you can do is see your vet right away. Only he will be able to prescribe veterinary drugs adapted to the particular case of your dog and, above all, identify the cause of his pain to overcome it in a more lasting way than with simple pain medication.
Also, do not try to swap a medicine containing ibuprofen for a treatment based on aspirin or paracetamol, which are just as toxic to your pet!
To relieve your dog while waiting for the consultation, you can safely use homoeopathic remedies such as Arnica 5CH or Belladonna 5CH granules. Also, consider the cold: the application of an ice pack may temporarily alleviate the suffering of muscle pain or the fire of local inflammation on your dog.
You can also draw among the herbal remedies with many plants with anti-inflammatory properties that can be used locally or systemically.
However, these natural solutions should not replace or delay a consultation with the veterinarian. Our dogs are much more resistant to pain than we are. So when they show their first signs of pain, it’s already in terrible pain! Much worse than we human beings could take!